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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

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Action:
Transition from Certification to Licensure
Stage: Final
18VAC15-40

CHAPTER 40
VIRGINIA CERTIFIED HOME INSPECTORS INSPECTOR LICENSING REGULATIONS

18VAC15-40-10

Part I
General

18VAC15-40-10. Definitions.

A. Section 54.1-500 of the Code of Virginia provides definitions of the following terms and phrases as used in this chapter:

"Board"

"Home inspection"

"Home inspector"

"Person"

"Residential building"

A. B. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless a different meaning is provided or is plainly required by the context:

"Address of record" means the mailing address designated by the licensee to receive notices and correspondence from the board.

"Adjacent" means structures, grading, drainage, or vegetation adjoining or within three feet of the residential building and that may affect the residential building.

"Applicant" means an individual who has submitted an application for licensure.

"Application" means a completed, board-prescribed form submitted with the appropriate fee and other required documentation.

"Board" means the Virginia Board for Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors.

"Certificate holder" means any person holding a valid certificate as a certified home inspector issued by the board.

"Certification" means an authorization issued to an individual by the board to perform certified home inspections by meeting the entry requirements established in these regulations.

"Client" means a person who engages or seeks to engage the services of a certified home inspector for the purpose of obtaining an a home inspection of and a written report upon the condition of a residential building.

"Compensation" means the receipt of monetary payment or other valuable consideration for services rendered.

"Component" means a part of a system.

"Contact hour" means 50 minutes of participation in a structured training activity.

"CPE" means continuing professional education.

"Department" means the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

"Financial interest" means financial benefit accruing to an individual or to a member of his immediate family. Such interest shall exist by reason of (i) ownership in a business if the ownership exceeds 3.0% of the total equity of the business; (ii) annual gross income that exceeds or may be reasonably anticipated to exceed $1,000 from ownership in real or personal property or a business; (iii) salary, other compensation, fringe benefits, forgiveness of debt, or benefits from the use of property, or any combination of it, paid or provided by a business that exceeds or may be reasonably expected to exceed $1,000 annually; or (iv) ownership of real or personal property if the interest exceeds $1,000 in value and excluding ownership in business, income, salary, other compensation, fringe benefits, or benefits from the use of property; (v) personal liability incurred or assumed on behalf of a business if the liability exceeds 3.0% of the asset value of the business; or (vi) an option for ownership of a business, real property, or personal property if the ownership interest will consist of clause (i) or (iv) of this definition.

"Fireplace" means an interior fire-resistant masonry permanent or prefabricated fixture that can be used to burn fuel and is either vented or unvented.

"Foundation" means the base upon which the structure or a wall rests, usually masonry, concrete, or stone, and generally partially underground element of a structure that connects to the ground and transfers loads from the structure to the ground. Foundations may be shallow or deep.

"New residential structure" or "NRS" means a residential structure for which the first conveyance of record title to a purchaser has not occurred or the purchaser has not taken possession, whichever occurs later.

"Prelicense education course" means an instruction program approved by the board and is one of the requirements for licensure effective July 1, 2017.

"Inspect" or "inspection" means to visually examine readily accessible systems and components of a building established in this chapter.

"Licensee" means a home inspector as defined in Chapter 5 (§ 54.1-500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Licensure" means a method of regulation whereby the Commonwealth, through the issuance of a license, authorizes a person possessing the character and minimum skills to engage in the practice of a profession or occupation that is unlawful to practice without such license.

"New residential structure" or "NRS" means a residential structure for which the first conveyance of record title to a purchaser has not occurred or the purchaser has not taken possession, whichever occurs later.

"NRS specialty" means a designation granted by the board to a home inspector that authorizes such individual to conduct home inspections on any new residential structure.

"Outbuilding" means any building structure on the property that is more than three feet from the residential building that might burn or collapse and that may affect the residential building.

"Prelicense education course" means an instruction program approved by the board and is one of the requirements for licensure effective July 1, 2017.

"Readily accessible" means available for visual inspection access without requiring moving of personal property, dismantling, destructive measures, or any action that will likely involve risk to persons or property or removing of any obstacles.

"Reinstatement" means having a certificate restored to effectiveness after the expiration date has passed the process and requirements through which an expired license can be made valid without the licensee having to apply as a new applicant.

"Renewal" means continuing the effectiveness of a certificate for another period of time the process and requirements for periodically approving the continuance of a license.

"Residential building" structure" means, for the purposes of home inspection, a structure consisting of one to four no more than two dwelling units used or occupied, or intended to be used or occupied, for residential purposes or a townhouse.

"Solid fuel burning appliances" means a hearth and fire chamber or similarly prepared place in which a fire may be built and that is built in conjunction with a chimney, or a listed assembly of a fire chamber, its chimney and related factory-made parts designed for unit assembly without requiring field construction.

"System" means a combination of interacting or interdependent components, assembled to carry out one or more functions.

"Virginia Residential Code" means the provisions of the Virginia Construction Code (Part I (13VAC5-63-10 et seq.) of 13VAC5-63) applicable to R-5 residential structures and that includes provisions of the International Residential Code as amended by the Board of Housing and Community Development.

B. Terms not defined in this chapter have the same definitions as those set forth in § 54.1-500 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC15-40-20

Part II
Entry Requirements

18VAC15-40-20. Necessity for certification licensure.

Any person who holds himself out as or uses the title of "certified home inspector" or conducts or offers to provide a "certified home inspection" shall have a current and valid certificate issued by the board. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to preclude noncertified individuals from performing home inspections for hire provided their conduct is in compliance with § 54.1-517.1 of the Code of Virginia. A. It shall be unlawful for any individual who does not possess a license as a home inspector issued by the board to perform a home inspection for compensation on a residential building.

B. A home inspection on a new residential structure shall only be conducted by a home inspector with the NRS specialty and who has completed a training module on the Virginia Residential Code.

18VAC15-40-25

Part II
Entry

18VAC15-40-25. Application procedures.

A. All applicants seeking licensure shall submit an application with the appropriate fee specified in 18VAC15-40-50. Application shall be made on forms provided by the board or its agent.

1. By submitting the application to the department, the applicant certifies that the applicant has read and understands the applicable statutes and the board's regulations.

2. The receipt of an application and the deposit of fees by the board do not indicate approval of the application by the board.

B. The board may make further inquiries and investigations with respect to the applicant's qualifications to confirm or amplify information supplied. All applications shall be completed in accordance with the instructions contained in this section and on the application. Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are received by the board.

C. The applicant will be notified within 30 days of the board's receipt of an initial application if the application is incomplete. An individual who fails to complete the application process within 12 months of receipt of the application in the board's office must submit a new application.

D. The applicant shall immediately report all changes in information supplied with the application, if applicable, prior to issuance of the license or expiration of the application.

18VAC15-40-30

18VAC15-40-30. Qualifications General requirements for certification licensure.

Every A. In addition to the provisions of 18VAC15-40-32, every applicant for an individual a home inspector certificate license shall have the following qualifications: meet the requirements provided in this section.

1. B. The applicant shall be at least 18 years old.

2. The applicant shall meet the following educational and experience requirements:

a. High school diploma or equivalent; and

b. One of the following:

(1) Completed 35 contact hours of instruction courses, of which no more than half of the required hours may be completed using distance or online education technology, and have completed a minimum of 100 home inspections;

(2) Completed 35 contact hours of instruction courses, of which no more than half of the required hours may be completed using distance or online education technology, and have completed a minimum of 50 certified home inspections in compliance with this chapter under the direct supervision of a certified home inspector, who shall certify the applicant's completion of each inspection and shall be responsible for each inspection;

(3) Completed 70 contact hours of instruction courses, of which no more than half of the required hours may be completed using distance or online education technology, and have completed a minimum of 50 home inspections; or

(4) Completed 70 contact hours of instruction courses, of which no more than half of the required hours may be completed using distance or online education technology, and have completed a minimum of 25 certified home inspections in compliance with this chapter under the direct supervision of a certified home inspector, who shall certify the applicant's completion of each inspection and shall be responsible for each inspection.

Instruction courses shall cover the content areas of the board-approved examinations.

An applicant who cannot fulfill the instruction course requirement as outlined in this subsection may provide documentation of a minimum of 10 years of experience as a home inspector with a minimum of 250 home inspections completed in substantial compliance with this chapter to satisfy this requirement. The documentation is subject to board review and approval.

3. The applicant shall have passed a written competency examination approved by the board.

4. The board may accept proof of membership in good standing, in a national or state professional home inspectors association approved by the board, as satisfaction of subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of this section, provided that the requirements for the applicant's class of membership in such association are equal to or exceed the requirements established by the board for all applicants.

5. The applicant shall have a good reputation for honesty, truthfulness, and fair dealing, and be competent to transact the business of a home inspector in such a manner as to safeguard the interests of the public.

6. The applicant shall disclose whether a certificate or license as a home inspector from any jurisdiction where certified or licensed has ever been suspended, revoked or surrendered in connection with a disciplinary action or which has been the subject of discipline in any jurisdiction prior to applying for certification in Virginia. The board may deny certification to any applicant so disciplined after examining the totality of the circumstances.

7. The applicant shall disclose any conviction or finding of guilt, regardless of adjudication, in any jurisdiction of the United States of any misdemeanor involving violence, repeat offenses, multiple offenses, or crimes that endangered public health or safety, or of any felony, there being no appeal pending therefrom or the time for appeal having elapsed. Subject to the provisions of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia, the board shall have the authority to determine, based upon all the information available, including the applicant's record of prior convictions, if the applicant is unfit or unsuited to engage in the profession of residential home inspections. The board will decide each case by taking into account the totality of the circumstances. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subdivision. A certified copy of a final order, decree, or case decision by a court with the lawful authority to issue such order, decree or case decision shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such conviction or guilt.

8. Procedures and appropriate conduct established by either the board or any testing service administering an examination approved by the board or both shall be followed by the applicant. Such procedures shall include any written instructions communicated prior to the examination date and any instructions communicated at the site, either written or oral, on the date of the examination. Failure to comply with all procedures established by the board or the testing service with regard to conduct at the examination shall be grounds for denial of the application.

9. Applicants shall show evidence of having obtained general liability insurance with minimum limits of $250,000.

C. The applicant shall provide a mailing address, which shall serve as the address of record. A post office box is only acceptable as the address of record when a physical address is also provided.

D. In accordance with § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia, each applicant shall disclose the following information:

1. All misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude, sexual offense, drug distribution, or physical injury within five years of the date of the application; and

2. All felony convictions during his lifetime.

Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purposes of this section. The record of conviction received from a court shall be accepted as prima facie evidence of a conviction or finding of guilt. The board, in its discretion, may deny licensure to any applicant in accordance with § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia.

E. The applicant for licensure shall be in compliance with the standards of conduct and practice set forth in Part V (18VAC15-40-140 et seq.) of this chapter at the time of application, while the application is under review by the board, and at all times when the license is in effect.

F. The applicant shall report any suspension, revocation, or surrender of a license, certification, or registration in connection with a disciplinary action or a license, certification, or registration that has been the subject of discipline in any jurisdiction prior to applying for licensure. The board, in its discretion, may deny licensure to any applicant based on prior suspensions, revocations, or surrender of licenses based on disciplinary action by any jurisdiction. The applicant has the right to request further review of any such action by the board under the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

G. The applicant for licensure shall submit evidence of having obtained general liability insurance with minimum limits of $250,000 per occurrence. A business liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability insurance policy with minimum limits of $250,000 may be considered to meet such requirement, so long as the applicant is listed as an additional insured. If for any reason the board cannot reasonably ensure that the applicant is sufficiently covered in accordance with this subsection, the board may require that requisite coverage be obtained in the name of the applicant. Proof of such insurance policy must be submitted in order to obtain the license.

18VAC15-40-32

18VAC15-40-32. Qualifications for licensure.

A. An applicant for licensure as a home inspector shall furnish documentation acceptable to the board that one of the qualifications for licensure in Table 1 has been met.

TABLE 1

 

Board-approved prelicense education course contact hours

Experience

Passed the board-approved examination

1.

35

Completion of 100 home inspections prior to July 1, 2017

Yes

2.

35

Completion of 50 home inspections under the direct supervision of a home inspector

Yes

3.

70

Completion of 50 home inspections prior to July 1, 2017

Yes

4.

70

Completion of 25 home inspections under the direct supervision of a home inspector

Yes

5.

None

Verification of 10 years' experience as a home inspector prior to July 1, 2017, with a minimum of 250 home inspections completed during such time period

Yes

 

 

B. Prelicense education courses must be approved by the board pursuant to Part VI (18VAC15-40-120 et seq.) of this chapter. No more than half of the required hours may be completed using distance or online education technology.

C. Verification of home inspections completed under the direct supervision of a home inspector must be provided by an individual who was properly licensed or certified by the board during the applicable time period.

D. The National Home Inspector Examination provided by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors is the board-approved examination pursuant to § 54.1-517.2 A 2 c of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC15-40-33

18VAC15-40-33. Examination conduct.

Procedures and appropriate conduct established by the board or examination organization administering the examination approved by the board, or both, shall be followed by the applicant. Such procedures shall include written instructions communicated prior to the examination date and instructions communicated at the site, either written or oral, on the date of the examination. Failure to comply with all procedures established by the board or the examination organization with regard to conduct at the examination shall be grounds for denial of the application.

18VAC15-40-34

18VAC15-40-34. Individuals certified or licensed in another jurisdiction; equivalency to Virginia home inspector requirements.

A. The board may waive the requirements of 18VAC15-40-32 for an applicant who holds an active, current license or certificate as a home inspector in another state, the District of Columbia, or any other territory or possession of the United States provided the requirements and standards under which the license or certificate was issued are substantially equivalent to those established in this chapter.

B. In considering qualifications pursuant to 18VAC15-40-32, the board may consider experience gained under a licensed (however denominated) home inspector in another state provided the requirements and standards under which the home inspector was licensed are substantially equivalent to those established in this chapter.

18VAC15-40-35

18VAC15-40-35. Qualifications for the new residential structure specialty.

To obtain the NRS specialty, the applicant shall submit the appropriate application form and fee pursuant to 18VAC15-40-50 and meet the following qualifications:

1. Hold a current and valid home inspector license. An applicant who does not hold a current and valid home inspector license shall apply for such licensure and meet the requirements contained in 18VAC15-40-30 and 18VAC15-40-32.

2. Submit proof of successful completion of an NRS training module approved by the board pursuant to Part VI (18VAC15-40-120 et seq.) of this chapter and completed no more than two years prior to the date of application.

18VAC15-40-40

18VAC15-40-40. Waiver of the requirements of this chapter. (Repealed.)

Except as required by law, the board may, in its reasonable discretion, waive any of the requirements of this chapter when in its judgment it finds that the waiver in no way lessens the protection provided by this chapter and Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia to the public health, safety and welfare. The burden of proof that demonstrates continued public protection rests with the individual requesting the waiver. Documents referenced are in effect as they existed as of the date the act or action has occurred.

18VAC15-40-45

18VAC15-40-45. Application denial.

The board may refuse initial certification licensure due to an applicant's failure to comply with entry requirements or for any of the reasons it may discipline a regulant licensee. The applicant has the right to request further review of any such action by the board under the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2.-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

18VAC15-40-60

Part III
Renewal and Reinstatement of Certificate License

18VAC15-40-60. Renewal required.

Certificates Licenses issued under this chapter shall expire two years from the last day of the month in which they were issued, as indicated on the certificate.

18VAC15-40-72

18VAC15-40-72. Continuing professional education (CPE) required for home inspector licensure.

A. Each certificate holder licensee shall have completed 16 contact hours of continuing professional education (CPE) during each certificate license renewal cycle, beginning with the certificate renewal cycle that ends April 30, 2013. CPE can be met through classroom instruction, distance learning, or online education technology.

B. The Notwithstanding the provisions of 18VAC15-40-75, the subject matter addressed during CPE contact hours shall be limited to the content areas covered by the board's approved examination.

C. The following shall be maintained by the certificate holder to document completion of the hours of CPE specified in subsection A of this section:

1. Evidence of completion that shall contain the name, address, and telephone number of the training sponsor;

2. The dates the applicant participated in the training;

3. Descriptive material of the subject matter presented documenting that it covers the content areas covered by the board's examination; and

4. A statement from the sponsor verifying the number of CPE contact hours completed.

D. Each certificate holder shall maintain evidence of the satisfactory completion of CPE for at least three years following the end of the certificate renewal cycle for which the CPE was taken. Such documentation shall be in the form required by subsection C of this section and shall be provided to the board or its duly authorized agents upon request.

E. C. The certificate holder licensee shall not receive CPE credit for the same training course more than once during a single certificate license renewal cycle.

F. Distance learning courses that comply with subsection B of this section and provide the documentation required by subsection C of this section shall comply with the CPE requirement.

G. The certificate holder may request additional time to meet the CPE requirement; however, CPE hours earned during a certificate renewal cycle to satisfy the CPE requirement of the preceding certificate renewal cycle shall be valid only for that preceding certificate renewal cycle.

D. A licensee who completes the initial training module required by 18VAC15-40-35 to obtain an NRS specialty may count completion of the module towards the required 16 hours of CPE credit for that renewal cycle.

18VAC15-40-75

18VAC15-40-75. Board-approved new residential structure update continuing professional education course required to maintain new residential structure specialty.

In addition to the CPE requirements of 18VAC15-40-72, to maintain the NRS specialty, the licensee shall submit proof of completion of a four-hour, board-approved NRS CPE course, which can be applied toward the 16 contact hours of CPE required for the license renewal.

18VAC15-40-76

18VAC15-40-76. Continuing professional education for instructors.

A licensee may receive CPE credit for teaching a course that otherwise meets the requirements of this chapter; however, additional credit shall not be given for subsequent offerings of a course or activity with the same content within the same licensing cycle. In addition, a licensee may receive two hours of CPE no more than once during a single licensing cycle for the initial development or substantial updating of a CPE course.

18VAC15-40-78

18VAC15-40-78. Maintenance of continuing professional education records.

A. Each licensee shall maintain evidence of the satisfactory completion of CPE for at least three years following the end of the license renewal cycle for which the CPE was taken. Such documentation shall be provided to the board or its duly authorized agents upon request.  The following shall be maintained by the licensee to document completion of the hours of CPE specified in 18VAC15-40-72:

1. Evidence of completion that shall contain the name, address, and telephone number of the training provider;

2. The dates the applicant participated in the training;

3. Descriptive material of the subject matter presented documenting that it covers the content areas covered by the board's examination; and

4. A statement from the provider verifying the number of CPE contact hours completed.

B. The board may conduct an audit of its licensees to ensure compliance with the applicable CPE requirements. Licensees who are selected for audit shall provide the necessary documentation stipulated in this section.

C. The licensee may request additional time to meet the CPE requirement; however, CPE hours earned during a license renewal cycle to satisfy the CPE requirement of the preceding license renewal cycle shall be valid only for that preceding license renewal cycle.

18VAC15-40-80

18VAC15-40-80. Procedures for renewal.

A. The Prior to the expiration date shown on the license, the board shall mail a renewal application form notice to the certificate holder at the last known home licensee's address of record. These notices shall outline the procedures for renewal. Failure of the board to mail or of the certificate holder to receive these notices does not relieve the certificate holder of the obligation to renew.

B. Prior to the expiration date shown on the certificate license, regulants the licensee desiring to renew their certificate his license shall return to the board the renewal application form to the board together with notice, proof of insurance required by 18VAC15-40-30, and the appropriate fee specified in 18VAC15-40-52 18VAC15-40-50. If the regulant fails to receive the renewal notice, a copy of the certificate may be submitted with the required fee as an application for renewal. The date on which the fee is received by the department or its agent will determine whether the fee is on time.

C. Prior to the expiration date shown on the license, a licensee with the NRS specialty must submit proof of completion of four hours of board-approved NRS CPE, in accordance with 18VAC15-40-75, along with the renewal notice and the appropriate fee specified in 18VAC15-40-50.

D. Failure to receive the renewal notice does not relieve the licensee of the obligation to renew. If the licensee fails to receive the renewal notice, a copy of the license may be submitted with the required fee and any other required documentation as an application for renewal. The date on which the renewal application is received by the department or its agent will determine whether the renewal application was received on time.

C. E. By causing a submitting the renewal application to be sent to the board or its authorized agent, the regulant licensee is affirming that the insurance required by 18VAC15-40-30 continues to be in effect, that the CPE requirements of 18VAC15-40-72 have been met, and that he is in continued compliance with this chapter.

18VAC15-40-85

18VAC15-40-85. Late renewal. (Repealed.)

If the renewal requirements of 18VAC15-40-80 are met more than 30 days but less than six months after the expiration date on the certificate, a late renewal fee shall be required as established in 18VAC15-40-52. The date on which the renewal application and the required fees are actually received by the board or its agent shall determine whether the certificate holder must pay the renewal fee only or whether the late renewal fee must be paid.

18VAC15-40-90

18VAC15-40-90. Reinstatement.

A. If the requirements for renewal of a certificate license, including receipt of the fee by the board, as provided in 18VAC15-40-80, are not completed by the certificate holder licensee within six months 30 days after the expiration date noted on the certificate license, a reinstatement fee of the license shall be required.

B. All applicants for reinstatement shall meet all requirements set forth in 18VAC15-40-30, 18VAC15-40-72, and 18VAC15-40-80 18VAC15-40-75, as applicable.

C. A certificate license may be reinstated for up to two years following the expiration date with upon submittal of the reinstatement application consisting of (i) payment of the reinstatement fee, (ii) proof of insurance required by 18VAC15-40-30, (iii) proof of CPE in accordance with 18VAC15-40-72, and (iv) proof of CPE to maintain the NRS specialty, if applicable. After two years, the certificate license shall not be reinstated under any circumstances, and the applicant individual shall apply as a new applicant and meet entry requirements current at the time of submittal of the new application.

D. By submitting the reinstatement application, the individual is affirming that he is in continued compliance with this chapter.

18VAC15-40-105

18VAC15-40-105. Status of certificate holder licensee during the period prior to reinstatement.

A. A certificate holder licensee who reinstates his certificate license shall be regarded as having been continuously certified licensed without interruption and shall remain under the disciplinary authority of the board during this entire period and shall be held accountable for his activities during this period.

B. Any regulated activity conducted subsequent to the license expiration date may constitute unlicensed activity and be subject to prosecution under Chapter 1 (§ 54.1-100 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC15-40-107

18VAC15-40-107. Board discretion to deny renewal or reinstatement.

The board may deny renewal or reinstatement of a license for the same reasons as the board may refuse initial licensure or discipline a licensee. The licensee has the right to request further review of any such action by the board under the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

18VAC15-40-108

18VAC15-40-108. License renewal or reinstatement after July 1, 2017.

A license eligible for renewal or reinstatement on or after July 1, 2017, shall be required to meet the requirements of this part as amended effective July 1, 2017, upon submittal of the renewal or reinstatement application, as applicable.

18VAC15-40-120

Part IV
Minimum Standards for Conducting Certified Home Inspections

18VAC15-40-120. Certified home Home inspection contract.

A. For the protection of both the client and the certificate holder licensee, both parties shall sign a legible, written contract clearly specifying the terms, conditions, and limitations and exclusions of the work to be performed.

B. At a minimum, the written contract shall include:

1. Name, business name (if applicable), business address, and telephone number of the certified home inspector.

2. Certificate License number and expiration date of the certified home inspector, and notation of NRS specialty, if applicable.

3. Name of the clients.

4. Physical address of the residential properties property to be inspected.

5. Cost and method of payment of the certified home inspection.

6. A listing of all areas and systems to be inspected, including those inspections that are either partial or limited in scope.

7. A statement in the contract that the home inspection does not include a review for compliance with regulatory requirements (Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code or other codes, regulations, laws, ordinances, etc.).

7. 8. To the extent that any of the following categories are not covered by the home inspection, they shall be noted as exclusions in the inspection contract:

a. The condition of systems or components that are not readily accessible.

b. The remaining life of any system or component.

c. The strength, adequacy, effectiveness, or efficiency of any system or component.

d. The causes of any condition or deficiency.

e. The methods, materials, or costs of corrections.

f. Future conditions including, but not limited to, failure of systems and components.

g. The suitability of the property for any specialized use.

h. Compliance with regulatory requirements (codes, including the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, regulations, laws, ordinances, etc.).

i. h. The market value of the property or its marketability.

j. i. The advisability of the purchase of the property.

k. j. The presence of diseases harmful to humans or potentially hazardous plants or animals including, but not limited to, wood destroying organisms and mold.

l. k. The presence of any environmental hazards including, but not limited to, toxins, carcinogens, noise, asbestos, lead-based paint, mold, radon, and contaminates in soil, water, and air.

m. l. The effectiveness of any system installed or methods utilized to control or remove suspected hazardous substances.

n. m. The operating costs of systems or components.

o. n. The acoustical properties of any system or component.

p. o. The presence of components involved in manufacturer's recalls.

q. p. The inspection of outbuildings.

To the extent any other items are not specifically included in the home inspection by agreement of the parties, they shall also be noted as exclusions in the home inspection contract.

8. Expected 9. Estimated delivery date to the client of the certified home inspection report.

9. 10. Dated signatures of both the certified home inspector and the client or the client's authorized representative.

C. The certified home inspection contract shall make written disclosure that the certified home inspection report is based upon visual observation of existing conditions of the inspected property at the time of the inspection and is not intended to be, or to be construed as, a guarantee, warranty, or any form of insurance. This provision does not prevent a home inspector from offering a separate guarantee, warranty, or any form of insurance if he so chooses.

D. If the certified home inspector recommends a person to the client for repairs or modifications to the inspected property, the certified home inspector shall disclose to the client all financial interests that the certified home inspector has with the recommended person. The disclosure shall be written within the certified home inspection contract.

18VAC15-40-130

18VAC15-40-130. Certified home Home inspection report.

A. Certified home Home inspection reports shall contain:

1. The name, business address and telephone number of the certificate holder as well as his certificate number and expiration date; Information pertaining to the licensee, including:

a. Licensee's name;

b. Business address;

c. Telephone number; and

d. License number and expiration date, to be followed by "NRS" if so designated and performing a home inspection on a new residential structure.

2. The name, address, and telephone number of the client or the client's authorized representative, if available at the time of the inspection;

3. The physical address of the residential properties property inspected; and

4. The date, time (to include both start and finish times of the home inspection), and weather conditions at the time of the certified home inspection.

B. In conducting a certified home inspection and reporting its findings, the certified home inspector, at a minimum, shall inspect the condition of and shall describe in writing the composition/ or characteristics of the following readily accessible components and readily observable defects, except as may be limited in the certified home inspection contract agreement:

1. Structural system.

a. Foundation.

b. Framing.

c. Stairs.

d. Crawl space, the method of inspecting the crawl space shall be noted and explained in the home inspection report. If the crawl space cannot be inspected, the certificate holder licensee shall explain in the home inspection report why this component was not inspected.

e. Crawl space ventilation and vapor barriers.

f. Slab floor, when present.

g. Floors, ceilings, and walls.

2. Roof structure, attic, and insulation.

a. Roof covering. The method of inspecting the roof covering shall be noted and explained in the home inspection report. If the roof covering cannot be inspected, the certificate holder licensee shall explain in the home inspection report why this component was not inspected.

b. Roof ventilation.

c. Roof drainage system, to include gutters and downspouts.

d. Roof flashings, if readily visible.

e. Skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations, but not antennae or other roof attachments.

f. Roof framing and sheathing.

g. Attic, unless area is not readily accessible.

h. Attic insulation.

3. Exterior of dwelling residential building or NRS.

a. Wall covering, flashing, and trim.

b. Readily accessible doors and windows, but not the operation of associated security locks, devices, or systems.

c. Attached, or adjacent and on the same property, decks Decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, attached garages, carports, and any associated railings, that are adjacent to the residential building or NRS and on the same property but not associated screening, shutters, awnings, storm windows, detached garages, or storm doors.

d. Eaves, soffitts soffits, and fascias where readily accessible from ground level.

e. Walkways, grade steps, patios, and driveways, but not fences or privacy walls.

f. Vegetation, trees, grading, drainage, and any retaining walls in contact with or adjacent to the dwelling that may affect the dwelling residential building or NRS.

g. Visible exterior portions of chimneys.

4. Interior of dwelling residential building or NRS.

a. Readily accessible interior Interior walls, ceilings, and floors of dwelling residential building or NRS and any attached or adjacent garage.

b. Steps, stairways, railings, and balconies and associated railings.

c. Countertops and installed cabinets, including hardware.

d. Readily accessible doors Doors and windows, but not the operation of associated security locks, devices, or systems.

e. Garage doors and permanently mounted and installed garage door operators. The automatic safety reverse function of garage door openers shall be tested, either by physical obstruction as specified by the manufacturer, or by breaking the beam of the electronic photo eye but only when the test can be safely performed and will not risk damage to the door, the opener, any nearby structure, or any stored items.

f. Fireplaces, including flues, venting systems, hearths, dampers, and fireboxes, but not mantles, fire screens and doors, seals and gaskets.

g. Solid fuel burning appliances, if applicable.

5. Plumbing system.

a. Interior water supply and distribution systems, including water supply lines and all fixtures and faucets, but not water conditioning systems or fire sprinkler systems.

b. Water drainage, waste, and vent systems, including all fixtures.

c. Drainage sumps, sump pumps, and related piping.

d. Water heating equipment, including energy source and related vent systems, flues, and chimneys, but not solar water heating systems.

e. Fuel storage and distribution systems for visible leaks.

6. Electrical system.

a. Service drop.

b. Service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways.

c. Service equipment and main disconnects.

d. Service grounding.

e. Interior components of service panels and sub panels, including feeders.

f. Conductors.

g. Overcurrent protection devices.

h. Readily accessible installed lighting fixtures, switches, and receptacles.

i. Ground fault circuit interrupters.

j. Presence or absence of smoke detectors.

k. Presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring.

l. Arc fault interrupters shall be noted if installed but not tested if equipment is attached to them.

7. Heating system.

a. Heating equipment, including operating controls, but not heat exchangers, gas logs, built-in gas burning appliances, grills, stoves, space heaters, solar heating devices, or heating system accessories such as humidifiers, air purifiers, motorized dampers, and heat reclaimers.

b. Energy source.

c. Heating distribution system.

d. Vent systems, flues, and chimneys, including dampers.

8. Air conditioning system.

a. Central and installed wall air conditioning equipment.

b. Operating controls, access panels, and covers.

c. Energy source.

d. Cooling distribution system.

C. Systems in the home that are turned off, winterized, or otherwise secured so that they do not respond to normal activation using standard operating controls need not be put into operating condition. The certified home inspector shall state, in writing, the reason these systems or components were not tested inspected.

18VAC15-40-140

Part V
Standards of Conduct and Practice

18VAC15-40-140. Conflict of interest.

A. The certificate holder licensee shall not:

1. Design or perform repairs or modifications to a residential building or NRS on which he has performed a certified home inspection as a result of the findings of the certified home inspection within 12 months after the date he performed the certified home inspection, except in cases where the home inspector purchased the residence after he performed the home inspection;

2. Perform a certified home inspection of a residential building or NRS upon which he has designed or performed repairs or modifications within the preceding 12 months without disclosing to the client in the certified home inspection contract the specifics of the repairs or modifications he designed or performed;

3. Refer his client to another person to make repairs or modifications to a residential building or NRS on which he has performed a certified home inspection unless, in accordance with 18VAC15-40-120 D, he provides written documentation to his client that clearly discloses all financial interests that the certificate holder licensee has or reasonably expects to have with the person who is recommended for the repairs or modifications;

4. Represent the financial interests, either personally or through his employment, of any of the parties to the transfer or sale of a residential building on which he has performed a certified home inspection; or

5. Perform a certified home inspection of a residential building or NRS under a contingent agreement whereby any compensation or future referrals are dependent on the reported findings or on the sale of the property.

B. The certificate holder licensee shall not disclose any information concerning the results of the certified home inspection without the approval of the client for whom the certified home inspection was performed. However, the certificate holder licensee may disclose information in situations where there is an imminent endangerment to life or health.

C. The certificate holder will licensee shall not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one interested party for the same service on the same property without the consent of all interested parties.

D. The certificate holder licensee shall not accept nor offer commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from other parties dealing with the client in connection with work for which the certificate holder licensee is responsible. Additionally, the certificate holder licensee shall not enter into any financial relationship with any party that may compromise the certificate holder's licensee's commitment to the best interest of his client.

E. The certified home inspection shall not be used as a pretext by the certificate holder licensee to solicit or obtain work in another field, except for additional diagnostic inspections or testing.

18VAC15-40-145

18VAC15-40-145. Competency for assignments.

A. The licensee shall undertake to perform professional assignments only when qualified by education or experience, or both.

B. A licensee shall not misrepresent to a prospective or existing client or employer his qualifications and the scope of his responsibility in connection with a home inspection.

18VAC15-40-150

18VAC15-40-150. Grounds for disciplinary action.

The board has the power to fine any certificate holder and to suspend or revoke any certificate issued under the provisions of Chapter 5 (§ 54.1-500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, and this chapter, where the certificate holder place a licensee on probation, impose a monetary penalty in accordance with § 54.1-202 A of the Code of Virginia, or revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a license when the licensee has been found to have violated or cooperated with others in violating any provision of Chapter 1, 2, 3, or 5 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or this chapter.

18VAC15-40-152

18VAC15-40-152. Notice of adverse action.

A. A licensee shall notify the board of the following actions against the licensee:

1. Any disciplinary action taken by any jurisdiction, board, or administrative body of competent jurisdiction, including any (i) reprimand; (ii) license or certificate revocation, suspension, or denial; (iii) monetary penalty; (iv) requirement for remedial education; or (v) other corrective action.

2. Any voluntary surrendering of a related license, certificate, or registration done in connection with a disciplinary action in another jurisdiction.

3. Any conviction, finding of guilt, or plea of guilty, regardless of adjudication or deferred adjudication, in any jurisdiction of the United States of any (i) misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, sexual offense, drug distribution, or physical injury or relating to performing a home inspection or (ii) felony, there being no appeal pending therefrom or the time for appeal having lapsed. Review of convictions shall be subject to the requirements of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purpose of this section.

B. The notice must be made to the board in writing within 30 days of the action. A copy of the order or other supporting documentation must accompany the notice. The record of conviction, finding, or case decision shall be considered prima facie evidence of a conviction or finding of guilt.

18VAC15-40-155

18VAC15-40-155. Prohibited acts.

The following acts are prohibited and any violation may result in disciplinary action by the board:

1. Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by false or fraudulent representation.

2. Performing improvements or repairs to a residential building as a result of the findings of the home inspection within 12 months before or after performing a home inspection on it, except in cases where the home inspector purchased the residential building after he performed the home inspection.

3. Violating or inducing another person to violate any of the provisions of Chapter 1, 2, 3, or 5 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or this chapter.

4. A licensee having been convicted, found guilty, or disciplined in any jurisdiction of any offense or violation enumerated in 18VAC15-40-152. Review of convictions shall be subject to the requirements of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia.

5. Failing to inform the board in writing within 30 days that the licensee was convicted, found guilty, or disciplined in any jurisdiction of any offense or violation enumerated in 18VAC15-40-152.

6. Failing to act as a licensee in such a manner as to safeguard the interests of the public.

7. Engaging in improper, fraudulent, or dishonest conduct in conducting a home inspection.

8. Having performed a home inspection when not qualified by training or experience to competently perform any part of the home inspection.

9. Failing to maintain, through training, the proficiency to perform Virginia home inspections.

10. Conducting a home inspection on any new residential structure without the NRS specialty issued by the board.

11. Failing to maintain the insurance policy required pursuant to 18VAC15-40-30 G.

12. Failing to report a change pursuant to 18VAC15-40-160.

13. Having cited, stated, or represented that there exists a violation of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63) in a home inspection report or other document prepared relative to a home inspection.

18VAC15-40-160

18VAC15-40-160. Maintenance of certificates licenses, reports, and documentation.

A. A certificate holder The licensee shall at all times keep the board informed of his current address of record, to include the home physical address, as applicable. Changes of address shall be reported to the board in writing within 30 calendar days after such change. A physical address is required; a post office box is not acceptable. A post office box is acceptable as the address of record only when a physical address is also provided. The board shall not be responsible for the certificate holder's licensee's failure to receive notices, communications and correspondence caused by the certificate holder's licensee's failure to promptly notify the board of any change of address.

B. A certificate holder The licensee shall notify the board in writing of a name change within 30 calendar days of any change in the certificate holder's licensee's legal name. Such notification shall be accompanied by a copy of a marriage certificate license, divorce decree, court order, or other documentation that verifies the name change.

C. A certificate holder The licensee shall retain all records pertaining to certified home inspections performed to include, but not limited to, written reports and supporting documentation for a period of three years from the date of the related certified home inspection.

D. The licensee shall report the cancellation, amendment, expiration, or any other change of the insurance policy submitted in accordance with 18VAC15-40-30 G within 30 days of the change.

18VAC15-40-170

18VAC15-40-170. Provision of records to the board. (Repealed.)

A certificate holder shall, upon demand, produce to the board or any of its agents any written reports and supporting documentation concerning any certified home inspection in which the certificate holder was involved, or for which the certificate holder is required to maintain records for inspection and copying by the board or its agents.

18VAC15-40-180

18VAC15-40-180. Response to inquiry of the board.

A certificate holder shall respond to an inquiry from the board or any of its agents within 15 business days.

A. A licensee must respond within 10 days to a request by the board or any of its agents regarding any complaint filed with the department.

B. Unless otherwise specified by the board, a licensee of the board shall produce to the board or any of its agents within 10 days of the request any document, book, or record concerning any transaction pertaining to a complaint filed in which the licensee was involved, or for which the licensee is required to maintain records. The board may extend such timeframe upon a showing of extenuating circumstances prohibiting delivery within such 10-day period.

C. A licensee shall not provide a false, misleading, or incomplete response to the board or any of its agents seeking information in the investigation of a complaint filed with the board.

D. With the exception of the requirements of subsections A and B of this section, a licensee must respond to an inquiry by the board or its agent within 21 days.

18VAC15-40-190

18VAC15-40-190. Unworthiness and incompetence. (Repealed.)

The following shall constitute unworthy and incompetent conduct and may result in disciplinary action by the board:

1. Obtaining a certificate by false or fraudulent representation.

2. Performing improvements or repairs to a residential building as a result of the findings of the certified home inspection within 12 months before or after performing a certified home inspection on it, except in cases where the home inspector purchased the residential building after he performed the inspection.

3. Violating or inducing another person to violate any of the provisions of Chapter 1, 2, 3, or 5 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or this chapter.

4. Subject to the provisions of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia, having been convicted or found guilty, regardless of adjudication in any jurisdiction of the United States, of any misdemeanor involving violence, repeat offenses, multiple offenses, or crimes that endangered public health or safety, or of any felony, there being no appeal pending therefrom or the time for appeal having elapsed. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purposes of this subdivision. A certified copy of a final order, decree, or case decision by a court with the lawful authority to issue such order, decree or case decision shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such conviction or guilt.

5. Failing to inform the board in writing within 30 days of pleading guilty or nolo contendere or being convicted or found guilty, regardless of adjudication in any jurisdiction of the United States of any misdemeanor involving violence, repeat offenses, multiple offenses, or crimes that endangered public health or safety, or of any felony, there being no appeal pending therefrom or the time for appeal having elapsed.

6. Failing to act as a certificate holder in such a manner as to safeguard the interests of the public.

7. Engaging in improper, fraudulent, or dishonest conduct in conducting a certified home inspection.

8. Having been found guilty by the board, an administrative body, or by any court of any misrepresentation in the course of performing home inspections.

9. Having performed a certified home inspection when not qualified by training or experience to competently perform any part of the certified home inspection.

10. Failing to maintain, through training, the proficiency to perform Virginia certified home inspections.

18VAC15-40-240

18VAC15-40-240. New residential structures training module requirements.

A. In order to qualify as an NRS training module pursuant to this chapter under 18VAC15-40-35, the training module must include a minimum of eight contact hours, and the syllabus shall encompass all of the subject areas set forth in subsection B of this section.

B. The following subject areas as they relate to the Virginia Residential Code shall be included in all NRS training modules. The time allocated to each subject area must be sufficient to ensure adequate coverage of the subject as determined by the board.

1. Origin of the Virginia Residential Code.

a. Overview of Title 36 of the Code of Virginia.

b. Roles and responsibilities of the Board of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Housing and Community Development.

c. Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, Part I (13VAC5-63-10 et seq.) through 13VAC5-63-390) of 13VAC5-63.

2. Scope of the Virginia Residential Code.

a. Purpose of the Virginia Residential Code.

b. Exemptions from the Virginia Residential Code.

c. Compliance alternatives.

d. Code official discretion in administration and enforcement of the Virginia Residential Code.

e. Process for amending the Virginia Residential Code.

f. Code violations and enforcement.

(1) Statute of limitations.

(2) Effect of violations.

g. Examples of code and non-code violations.

3. Roles of the building code official and the home inspector, including an overview of § 36-105 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC15-40-9998

FORMS (18VAC15-40)

Home Inspector Association Membership Form, A506-3380AMF-v4 (rev. 8/2015)

Home Inspector Certification Application Instructions, A506-3380INS-v2 (eff. 8/2015)

Home Inspector Certification Application, A506-3380CERT-v3 (eff. 8/2015)

Home Inspector Experience Verification Form, A506-3380EXP-v4 (rev. 8/2015)

Home Inspector License/NRS Specialty Designation Application, A506-3380LIC-v1 (eff. 7/2017)

Home Inspector Experience Verification Form, A506-3380EXP-v5 (eff. 7/2017)

Home Inspector Reinstatement Application, A506-3380REI-v1 (eff. 7/2017)

Home Inspector - Course Approval Application, Prelicense Education Course/NRS Training Module/NRS CPE, A506-3331HICRS-v1 (eff. 4/2017)